These results suggest that conceptual knowledge can

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Unformatted text preview: roups were able to learn to hit the underwater target; however, when the depth of the water was changed, which changed the apparent position of the target, the group that had had the conceptual explanation was able to adjust their performance to the new situation more quickly. These results suggest that conceptual knowledge can influence people’s acquisition of a skill. Conceptual information is stored as declarative knowledge schemata in long-term memory. An important aspect of this type of knowledge has to do with understanding relationships. When faced with a problem or novel situation, understanding the relationships among the various aspects of a situation allows a person to take more effective actions. The schema individuals bring to bear on a task affects their perception and understanding of the task. Differences in these schemata, account for much of the observed differences in individuals’ performance in these situations. In other words, how a task is understood the affects the actions a person is likely to take when dealing with the task (Chi, Feltovich & Glaser, 1981, Chi et al. 1989, and Sweller, 1989). 25 Experts versus novices. One approach to investigating the role that declarative knowledge plays in transfer has been to study the differences between the performances of novices and experts in problem solving situations. An expert is a person who has acquired special skills and knowledge through learning and experience (Ericsson & Charness, 1994). In general, this research reveals that the more skilled problem solving of experts a not primarily a difference in intelligence or general problem-solving strategies, but is more a difference in the amount and quality of domain specific knowledge experts possess (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000). Domain specific knowledge is knowledge that is pertinent to a particular performance or content area. For example, domain specific knowledge in physics would include the knowledge a person has accumulated in physics. The following differences in domain knowledge for experts and novices have been observed across different domains and age groups (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000; Chi, Feltovich, & Glaser, 1981; DeGroot, 1965; Ericsson & Simon, 1993; Glaser, 1992; Peskin, 1998; Zeitz, 1994). • Because of their extensive and well-organized knowledge base, experts are more likely than novices to recognize meaningful patterns in problem-solving situations rather than having to abstract or infer those patterns. • The knowledge base of experts tends to be organized around major principles or ideas, which helps them classify problems more accurately in terms of the relevant principle. This type of organization is particularly important for highroad transfer (Johnson, 1995; Perkins & Salomon, 1988). High-road transfer refers to the thoughtful transfer of knowledge based on the recognition of abstract principles that govern both situations, such as recognizing two physics problems 26 as being based on the same principle. It contrasts with low-road transfer which is when prior learning is automatically and directly trans...
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